What is a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?

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What is a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace?

woman in wheelchair and man working on computer screens

Many laws in the United States make it illegal for an employer or company to discriminate against applicants and employees. One of those laws states that employees with disabilities have the right to request a reasonable accommodation made by employers. If you feel like your employment rights have been violated contact an Atlanta disability discrimination attorney to discuss your options.

What is the ADA?

The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This civil rights act made it illegal to discriminate against individuals with disabilities in the workplace, schools, transportation, and other places and events open to the general public. It is an equal opportunity law that ensures that anyone can function equally regardless of personal disability.

Title I of the ADA discusses equal employment opportunities. It states that an employer must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with disabilities. This act has proven to be effective in allowing applicants and employees with disabilities to gain and maintain employment and prevents them from employer discrimination.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation, as defined in the ADA, is a modification to a person’s job or work environment that an employer can reasonably accommodate. A person with a disability may request an accommodation that helps them participate in the employer’s application process or perform their job more efficiently. Applicants and employees with disabilities have the right to equal employment. A reasonable accommodation may allow them to be more equal by making a physical change to the environment, including accessible or assistive technology, or changing company policies.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations that a disabled person might request include the following.

  • Installing a ramp at the entrance for a wheelchair user to be able to enter the building
  • Modifying a bathroom to include a handicap-accessible toilet
  • Adding an accessible parking space in the parking lot
  • Allowing an employee to work in a different area of the building so they can avoid stairs
  • Altering company animal policy to allow an employee to bring in their service animal
  • Adjusting desk height to accommodate an employee in a wheelchair
  • Providing sign language interpreters at business events
  • Providing screen reader software technology
  • Restructuring a job function that cannot be performed by the employee
  • Modifying work schedules to accommodate an employee who requires certain doctor or physical therapy appointments

Does My Employer Have to Grant My Accommodations?

Generally, an employer has no responsibility to make any changes unless the employee asks for them. However, once a request has been made they are obligated to look into the matter. A reasonable request will not place any undue financial burden on the employer. Large corporations probably have more financial resources to make accommodations than small business owners. Reasonable in terms of monetary value is subjective.

The cost should not outweigh the benefit. This means that if an accommodation costs a significant amount of money annually and the employee requesting it is a seasonal or part-time worker who makes minimum wage, it may be deemed unreasonable.

However, your employer is responsible for researching your requested accommodations and implementing them to the best of their ability.

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We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

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